On August 18, 2020, a miner was killed while attempting to clear a material blockage. According to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), the miner entered the cone crusher to begin work when the material shifted and engulfed him. He was extracted from the crusher and taken to a hospital, where he died the next day. This fatality, the 13th of the year, was classified as “Fall of Material.”
MSHA suggests the following best practices:
- Properly design chutes and crushers to prevent blockages. Install a heavy screen (grizzly) to control the size of material and prevent clogging.
- Equip chutes with mechanical devices such as vibrating shakers or air cannons to loosen blockages, or provide other effective means of handling material, so miners are not exposed to entrapment hazards by falling or sliding material.
- Establish and discuss policies and procedures for safely clearing crushers.
- Train miners to recognize and safely remove all potential hazards before beginning work and when clearing blocked crushers.